Thursday 20 July 2023

The secret to mindful travel A trip to our woods

Planted by George Lupton - my Dad and his two brothers when I was a little girl. I think 1961 before I started school. I used to amuse myself laid on old army coats with my sheepdog friend trying to read her stories. I had a crayoning book and Floss would emerge at the end of the day with her white forehead a different colour but she didnt seem to mind. It was quite boring when you are a child as the men had to plant all the little trees by hand. We used to have a pack up- lowance [snack] and our dinner and go off for the day. There were red squirrels about in those days. There are a few hardwoods which the tree company gave to me to plant too. Occasionly it rained so there was an old Oak tree whcih was hollow so I used to sit in that and watch the raindrops falling. Life was so simple in those days. We didnt have words such as chill,stress and anxiety issues ,which are all too often mentioned today. Maybe it is time to pack your bags and head out into our woods and enjoy sitting or lying and just taking in what is around you. I could nearly bet that you would be so relax you could feel your eyelids closing and the next thing you know it is time for your supper. Besides this wood which is getting felled which by the way is called the Garden of Eden. We have other lovely woodland spaces for you to enjoy. All you will hear is the song of birds and if you are near the stream ,the trickle of water. With a fridge in your room you too can make a pack up and have your meal under the trees. We dont have sheepdogs at home but you are welcome to take one of our Cuckavalda Gundogs with you for company. And lastly we still have the "bait bags" and thermos my dad and uncles used all those years ago .So to add to the nostalgia you are welcome to use those too. In Japan it is a big thing to relax under trees it is called shinrin-yoku. In England it now has a psh name - Forest bathing ... when I was little it was playing in the woods -what all country children did and our grandchildren still do today. The term emerged in Japan in the 1980s as a physiological and psychological exercise called shinrin-yoku (“forest bathing” or “taking in the forest atmosphere”). The purpose was twofold: to offer an eco-antidote to tech-boom burnout and to inspire residents to reconnect with and protect the country’s forests.